RON SCHALOW: Cramer Mimics Trump — Lies Like a Pro

It’s been quite an effing darn protracted loopy eon since “quick-draw” Kevin Cramer pushed all of  his chips onto the fuzzy orange rectangle. Except for the one he ate. It was an odd casino.

He’ll tell you that they were communion wafers. KC is religious, he’ll casually mention it, 3,000 times. But they were Cool Ranch Doritos, the most narcotic of the Ritos.

Cramer always puts ideology before godliness, though. Helping people in mortal need isn’t something he’s comfortable doing as a lawmaker. Food is for sissies and racoons. Teachings in the liberal Bible are for Sunday pretense.

Little did the congressman care, but Russian technicians were messing with the roulette wheel, and other Russians were populating the Trump campaign and visiting with the ultradeep state Iranians. Deducing that Trump is going to blow the whole thing up, the Iranians are pulling for the mad king.

Dividends took a little longer to development, since Vladimir Putin originally hired a couple of Russian roulette experts, and they showed up, eager to pull some triggers. It was a funny anecdote to share. For one of them. The other was probably due to be poisoned anyway.

Anyhow, the Russians got their act together and fooled enough gullibles to win the bet for Cramer. Thurston Howell III told lies to his pasty white base of Tiki tots and dominated the news with at least 17 stupid/offensive comments per day.

Draft dodger Donnie, the most objectionable polecat in the whole history of this country, became alt-right Kevin’s forever man-crush. It has been magical. Harold Hamm is swell, too

In this dystopian era, where grown men dive over hard plastic furnishings to retrieve a $5 baseball and ideologues run amok and run for Senate, Cramer has decided to run against Hillary, Obama, Schumer (Charles and Amy), Pelosi, LBJ, FDR, DOS and Obamacare. The mystical boogiemen ghosts of bullshit past. Heidi Heitkamp is his actual opponent.

It’s the only way to go, for a congressman, who has nothing to run on, except for his creepy adoration of a racist.

If Cramer stands next to anyone at the urinal, it’s a town hall. If he goes on air with one of the Trump bobos, like Rob Port, Chris Berg or Scott Hennen, it’s a town hall. Then, there is KNOX in Grand Forks, and a true believer with a radio station in Harvey, N.D., by the name of Rick Jensen, I think. Kevin keeps track of every encounter, It’s like bragging about the number of bullheads you fished out of the Mouse River.

Then, there’s the Heidi 💜 Hillary meme, which without irony, the Cramer campaign comes right out and says that because Heidi pulled for Hillary, the most qualified candidate by the width of Don and Rob’s hindquarters, and who spent most of her professional life as a lawyer, advocating for children, Heitkamp no longer has North Dakota values. But the New York sleazeball does. Fifty-seven percent of Americans don’t think he’s honest. Such malarkey.

Is Cramer saying that dishonesty is a North Dakota value? Or adultery? Seems like bad messaging.

Heidi and Hillary are moderates, not that grandma Clinton matters, since she isn’t in the game.

Donnie spent his adulthood mismanaging his inheritance, avoiding STDs, prostituting his last name and cheating as many people out of their money as possible. Trump University wasn’t the half of it.

Cramer is all too oily (Hamm residue) to not intentionally say false stupid things, following in Trump’s clown shoes.

Heidi did not, nor could not, repeal your temporary tax cut. That’s a lie, Kev. The tax scam is permanent for corporations, though.

And all of us were called deplorables. So sad. It’s not true, though. She said half. Evidently, Cramer feels like he and his base are in the basket.

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” Clinton said. “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”  — Time

Heidi also voted favor of late-term abortion, according to the holy one. Not true either.

There is no such thing.

“Though many media reports and other literature use the phrase ‘late-term abortion,’ it is not accurate and should not be used,” Hal Lawrence, M.D., executive vice president and CEO of ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ), said in an email. “A full-term pregnancy is defined as a pregnancy with a gestational age between 39 weeks and 40 weeks, 6 days. ‘Late term’ refers to a pregnancy with a gestational age of 41 weeks to 41 weeks, 6 days. Abortions are not performed at ‘late term.’” — Cosmopolitan

How many procedures has Trump paid for? Who could guess? The Yellow Boy has paid his way out of every inconvenience.

Kevin Cramer is a liar and has adopted some cretinous values. More lies will be coming.

I’ll end with a too late suggestion for Will Gardner. Just walk in. Why stand out in the cold?

“I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s a man in here,’ ” said Mariah Billado, the former Miss Vermont Teen USA. Trump, she recalled, said something like, “Don’t worry, ladies, I’ve seen it all before.”

RON SCHALOW: Kevin Cramer’s Criminal Choice 

There are many public servants and oil executives to blame for their silence but only Kevin Cramer, Mr. North Dakota way, thinks he deserves a seat in the United States Senate. So, he has to answer for his failures.

“It took “more than 1,000 firefighters from 80 different municipalities in Quebec and from six counties in the state of Maine” to help with evacuations and fire-fighting efforts in the small town (Lac-Megantic) of only a few thousand people, according to a Transportation Safety Board of Canada report.” — Bellingham Herald

That was in was in July 2013. Forty-seven people died when a Bakken oil train careened off the tracks, which led to a series of violent explosions. Five victims were vaporized.

“(Congressman Kevin) Cramer said after 10 years (2003 to 2012) on North Dakota’s Public Service Commission, he was confident the state’s oil was safe.” —The Minot Daily News Sept. 12, 2014

I could go into why his statement to The Minot Daily News was so sociopathically dangerous and irresponsible because there were many more Bakken oil train disasters to come, but his inaction before and after one particular incident explains where his heart lies.

2008. Just outside of Luther, Okla., and 30 miles from Oklahoma City, the first train hauling Bakken crude derails and explodes. Big red flag.

(Would this spur you to action? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec1JtY5kfXE)

“Among 14 cars that derailed in mixed freight train, eight cars of crude oil derailed. All spilled their contents, three from large gashes in their shells. The spilled oil caught fire and caused a massive explosion that was captured by a local TV news crew in a helicopter. About 35 people were evacuated but returned to their homes the same day. Crude oil originated in Fairview, Mont., in the Bakken region. Incident could have been an early sign of Bakken oil’s flammability.” — McClatchey, Jan. 27, 2014

Fairview straddles the North Dakota, Mont., border, but if any train originating in the Bakken explodes, it would raise concerns with any regulator with a conscience. No worries there.

But oil trains had stopped exploding on impact many decades ago, right?

Yes, but it was hurry hurry in the Bakken. The oil barons deliberately chose not to remove the explosive heptane, pentane, methane, propane, butane, ethane, isobutane and so on from the crude oil before filling the tanker cars. It was a choice. Oil companies decided, and regulators, like Kevin, looked the other way.

“The oil industry says there is a ready market for the extracted gases in Texas, but none in North Dakota. Therefore, say the producers, the explosive gases are best shipped to refineries while still dissolved in the crude.” — Railway Age

Kevin Cramer knew what was in the liquid coming out of the ground, and he knew the concoction they poured into the tanker cars, which were designed  to haul corn syrup. And since trains have been derailing since they were invented, he knew what was likely to happen.

Unless Kevin was really bad at his job. It’s possible. Neither option is flattering.

Luther, Okla.; Lac-Megantic, Quebec; Aliceville, Ala.; Casselton, N.D.; Lynchburg, Va.; and more big booms, until Mosier, Ore., on June 3, 2016.

The fire chief of Mosier is still whiter than usual and shaking, just at the thought of what the damage would have been when a single sheared-off track bolt caused the derailment, fire and explosion of a Bakken oil train that would have burnt down the entire town had the wind been blowing like normal through the Columbia River Gorge. Spilled oil gummed up their sewage system, but none reached the river, so yay for abnormal weather conditions.

Trains are still making runs to the West Coast, and a facility was finally built in North Dakota to refine the explosive gases. All of the gases, for all of the wells? I don’t know.

On Sept. 23, 2014, the North Dakota Industrial Commission holds a hearing:

“They (oil execs) testified that the oil was already safe, that train accidents were few and far between, and that regulations would cost the industry a lot of money.” — Prairie Public

“Already safe.”

Kevin Cramer, the proud owner of an oddly configured brain, said it is “discriminatory” to call Bakken crude by it’s given name, in a feeble attempt to obscure the source of the danger from the rest of the continent.

His words: “Well, whenever they refer to it as Bakken crude, you have to conclude they are discriminating because crude is not categorized, or characterized by its origin, by its location, by it’s geography.

“It should be characterized by its characteristics, it’s scientific and chemical make-up, so I think the rhetoric gets a little reckless. It tends to favor a particular point of view, a bias in advance, and that’s what I want to do away with on the 9th.

“I don’t know whether that (stabilization) is necessary or not. That’s part of what we will be exploring in our hearing in the science committee, because is it scientifically possible to strip it out? Obviously, of course, it is … but when you apply not just that, but the economics, and remember, you can strip those light elements off of the crude, but that has to be shipped as well, so in many respects, filling a train with nothing but the light elements, the more explosive, if you will, elements, and making that a bullet train; I’m not sure that is the right answer, so scientifically can you do it, sure, but you have to look at it holistically and consider all of the other elements; including economics, and is the benefit of doing something like that trump other things like speed of trains, and what kind of cars. There are other things to consider. That’s why I think a congressional hearing is the next best step, dealing specifically with the science of the crude.” — Kevin Cramer

“There are some benefits frankly to the stabilization process and that is stripping some of the liquids, some of the other gases off and using them in the marketplace. That is a far better solution that just stripping it for the sake of stripping it.”  Kevin Cramer

Free market ideology over public safety.

And this Cramer gem: “When you strip it, you now have highly explosive gases that have to get to market somehow. They have to go into a pipeline, they have to go on the train, making it even more explosive.”

“RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT is a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn’t required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions.”  USLegal.com

Is it any surprise that Harold Hamm is the Cramer campaign finance chair?

Kevin will do or say anything to protect his oil buds, even at the expense of human lives.

RON SCHALOW: Poor Paranoid Lying Port

My buddy, Rob Port, used the coveted space for his Sunday column to set up a hypothetical Festivus pole, air his grievances and sob over his keyboard. My sources say he paced in the hall for a solid 45 seconds before getting winded and falling into a heap of self-pity. The feats of strength portion of Festivus was canceled, due to a lack of strength.

It is a Festivus miracle that anyone would waste money on this rube.

The headline and copy exemplified why he isn’t taken seriously, and many people consider him an embarrassment to the newspaper industry, worldwide, and Forum Communications in particular. I’m just generally embarrassed for people with no self-awareness or shame. Ferrets also have no self-awareness or shame. They are the Ports of the animal kingdom.

It’s as if he impersonated a real journalist and a real higher education expert, in a debate at Minot State University. Oh, right. Port did that and wore his finest checkered shirt and what appeared on video to be skinny jeans. The dull-witted one argued with people who have degrees up to their knees.

It’s doubtful that Port understood most of the words, but he was pleased with himself anyway. That’s the type of person we’re dealing with\ and partly explains his column of victimhood woe.

Let’s dissect this dead carp. Port’s words are in quotations.

“COMMENTARY: CRITICS CRY SHUT UP, BUT MY CRITICISM ON SENATOR IS SOUND”

What critic said shut up? He doesn’t know. Port’s Heidi obsession cannot be summed up as sound. It’s not. If you’re into the 109 degrees of separation game, laced with venom, Rob’s your dude.

“MINOT, N.D. — Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and her network of operatives and supporters are out to make me Public Enemy No. 1.”

The youngster never names any of these operatives involved in this conspiracy. He usually calls these imaginary people “surrogates.” The word surrogates, appears in 7,436 Heidi hit pieces.

And he isn’t No. 1. He wishes. Port’s just a lackey.

“The problem is that the senator’s approval numbers are tanking ahead of what promises to be the most vigorously contested election of her life.”

 The Portweasel just made that up. His mediocrity is the problem.

“The solution, it seems, is to paint yours truly as a big, bad bully who just won’t leave poor Heitkamp alone.”

The Portweasel just made that up.

“Remember, this is a U.S. senator we’re talking about. As one of just 100 members of that legislative chamber, she is one of the most powerful political figures in the country. She has a war chest stuffed with millions in donations which funds, among other things, a campaign staff eager to mau-mau anyone critical of their candidate.”

Mau-mau? OK. Port is eager to mau-mau anyone critical of Kevin Cramer. Kevin can say nothing too stupid to get the mau-mau thing from his third favorite media sycophant.

“Lately, though, Heitkamp has taken the posture of a victim in the face of criticism from me. Her staffers, who never bother to respond to my requests for comment or interviews, routinely contact my bosses encouraging them to shut me up. The state’s opinion pages frequently feature letters to the editor from Democratic operatives whinging on about a supposed “obsession” with the senator.”

Heitkamp has never mentioned the blogger’s name, to my memory, but Rob can fantasize about keeping her up at night. Heidi doesn’t consider Port at all. He’s a hack who thinks he deserves some respect because JoeMN, Orville and a small cast of turkey vultures,who circle the polluted pond on his blog, are waiting to attack anyone who might leave a factual comment. These mooks hang on his every word, or at least try to sound out the headline.

“Even my colleague, Mike McFeely, is doing his part for Heitkamp under the guise of promoting professional standards. In a recent column, he was floating the scurrilous idea that I might be paid off by Republicans. He claims that a political commentator like me writing a lot about a candidate in what promises to be the biggest political brawl in state history is somehow unbecoming of someone in our profession.”

McFeely is not Jr.’s colleague (that implies some level of equality), and he wasn’t doing anything on behalf of Heitkamp. And he didn’t float anything. As McFeely stated, readers have wondered about his obviously adhesive relationship with Kevin Cramer. How many lies is that, so far?

“There’s a simple explanation for why all of this is happening: My criticism of Heitkamp is sound.”

 No it isn’t. Sorry, you little hombre.

“It’s resonating with the public.”

It’s not.

 “It’s become inconvenient to Heitkamp’s efforts to get herself re-elected.”
Wrong again. Voldeport (copyrighted by Kris Wallman), thinks a lot of himself.

“Thus, it must be removed. Or diminished.”

Thus, the thin-skinned one doesn’t understand the issue. Drama queen.

“Hilariously, there seems to be little concern from my critics about the senator’s brother operating a Fargo-based radio station as a de facto campaign headquarters. When Joel Heitkamp was riding herd on Heitkamp’s opponent in 2012 — former Republican Congressman Rick Berg — there were no complaints from our friends on the left.”

Port complained, and since I listened to KFGO before that election (did Robbie?), and to call the radio station as a de facto campaign headquarters, is ridiculous. Another lie. I’m sure it sounded true during a fever dream brought on by mayonnaise malaise.

“The hypocrisy is so thick you could cut it with a knife.”

I love cliches.

“You’ll notice that the bulk of the criticism of my coverage of North Dakota’s U.S. Senate race is not focused on what I’m writing. There are few rebuttals offered for the points I’m making. Rather, we are being treated to tantrums from people who are upset that I’m writing anything at all.”

Also, not true. Weasel boy is throwing the tantrum in this comedy.

“I dislike dedicating a column like this to some food fight with a bunch of politicos and campaign operatives, but I felt I owed you, the audience, a rebuttal to the smear campaign against me.”

Gosh, thanks, I did feel owed. Port knows how to smear, but not enough people care about him to call anything a campaign.

“I choose topics because they matter. My critics want me to shut up because they know those topics matter.”

Another miss. Have another bottle of cough syrup.

“One truth I’ve learned in 15 years of writing about politics is that you usually get the most flak when you’re over the target.”

Writing is a strong word.

RON SCHALOW: Port And Cramer — Making Collusion Fun Again

I bought a gizmo that is supposed to drive away vermin by emitting a super high-pitched sound. I wanted a herd of hard-partying ants on a sugar high to take a hike. Or take a long walk off a short pier, like my uncles used to tell me on a regular basis.

It’s undignified to live with insects that strut around like they own the place. So far, all the annoying squeal (I imagine) has kept away are bears. White through black. Haven’t seen a one of them. The ants laugh and line dance on the gadget. “Boot Scootin Boogie” still haunts me, from a former life.

Speaking of bears, I imagine that some of the college-educated professional news people at the Forum and WDAY have also tried audio waves to shoo away the pesky amatuer Rob Port. The raccoon infestation has moved over to Broadway, but the blogger is evidently immune to good vibrations, toxic sprays and kites that look like dragons. Hang in there, people.

Aside from his calling them “colleagues,” which insults me and I don’t even work there, Port also has a neurological problem level of shrill repetition, with his topics.

HEIDI HEITKAMP WORE MISMATCHED SOCKS TO PROM!

WHO GAVE BIBI NETANYAHU A NOOGIE IN AN UBER? WAS IT HEIDI?

HIGH FOUR? IS HEIDI HEITKAMP TOO SHORT?

DOES RED CAUSE VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY? MY SOURCES SAY YES!

HEIDI TOOK A KNEE WHEN HER COACH SAID, TAKE A KNEE!

She’s a vicious red-haired she-devil, no doubt.

Obviously, Port writes his own headlines because no standard-issue person could concoct such clunky word strings.

One of his favorite heavily repeated themes is that Heitkamp is a big meany, and she will surely pick on the angelic Congressman Kevin Cramer.

Recently, Port posted the following:

“THIS IS WHY SENATOR HEITKAMP HAS TO MAKE VOTERS HATE HER OPPONENT”

“I’ve long predicted that the 2018 U.S. Senate election will be one of the ugliest North Dakota has ever seen.” (Now, that’s some fine punditing.)

“Part of the foundation for that prediction lays in the way the incumbent, Sen. Heitkamp, campaigned in 2012. She ran a VICIOUS campaign that year, BRUTALIZING her opponent Rick Berg with her surrogates painting the man as a “slum lord” and worse.” (Robbie made the wrong prediction and has been pouting about it ever since. Berg claimed that Heitkamp wanted to disarm our military, so Port can hang his hat on that gem.)

Furthermore:

“But if she can use her millions in out-of-state contributions to turn the race into referendum on what an awful person Congressman Kevin Cramer is, maybe she can win.” (Well, he is awful.)

And:

“She’s a gifted politician, she has millions from out of state donors in the bank already, and she’s proven to have FEW SCRUPLES when it comes to SAVAGING her political opponents.”

So, because the smiling, smarmy, smirking Cramer would never resort to running a negative campaign, little Port has taken the initiative to pick up the slack with the scruple-free, vicious and savaging of Kevin’s opponent, Heidi Heitkamp. Chris Berg and Scott Hennen help.

And Cramer has a standing spot on Port’s radio show. I wouldn’t listen if threatened with a push into a pit crawling with saw-scaled vipers. But it’s hard to stifle the commercials, and I can confirm that Robbie giggles like a little girl when he thinks he’s said something funny.

Of course, junior is also a flack for big oil, the North Dakota GOP, pipeline companies and downtrodden wealthy corporations.

He prefers provocative statements for headlines that aren’t proven in the copy or don’t match the content of the post. But it doesn’t matter.

While being indoctrinated in government high school, he might have been told that 60 percent to 80 percent of readers peruse only the deceptive headline, and Forum Communications allows him three or four headlines per day, which enter the bloodstream of the organization.

Many take Port’s headlines as gospel. It’s an insidious way to push an agenda. He can come up with any dribble that leaks out of his ears without any pushback.

Port also misrepresents the facts on a regular basis. Opinion is one thing, math is another. As is science. Truth supersedes ideology. Port is a liar. The match with Cramer makes sense.

But the deceit never gets corrected. He just moves to the next sham Heitkamp scandal. Try digging through her garbage, you little brown-nose bear.

RON SCHALOW: Cramer Can’t Worship Trump And God

Well, he has been, so I guess it’s possible, but it doesn’t seem proper to a hyena-fearing person like me. Maybe “shouldn’t” is a better word.

Kevin Cramer’s intoxicating “piousness cologne” doesn’t quite overwhelm the stench of the $#itholes that Donald Sr. dug here and there and has been filling with “Trump Tators™” for most of his life.

From the best-selling Decalogue, found in the Ark of the Covenant: “You shall have no other gods but Me.” Also: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.”

Those are the FIRST two!

“I really see the vocation of politics like I see every vocation — whether it’s being a reporter or serving in public life or being a plumber — as an extension of ministry.” — Kevin Cramer

But that’s not how it works. Mixing religion with government, and whatever the depraved Trump is, sounds good to some people, but the citizens of North Dakota, and the country, come first. It’s not optional.

If Cramer wants to minister, he can build a fire and brimstone proof church and go to town.

And the word “hypocrite” is being stretched like Trump’s golf khakis. Golly. St. Cramer might be a fraud — and a willing participant in the unholy shenanigans of the unvirtuous Trump. Collusion! Collusion!

Donald Trump, America’s Silvio Berlusconi, is not a good man. He is not a mediocre man. His claim to religion is fake. It’s more likely that a cross-eyed badger, with a drinking problem, has read the Bible than has ol’ collagen lips.

He’s deceitful, mean-spirited, small, vane, racist and a misogynist, just to name few of his better qualities. 45 is of such low quality in so many ways that thesauruses have been scraped clean of fitting synonyms for doofus nimrod.

A number of normal humans and other bipeds have accused the odious Trump of species appropriation. They think the painted pansy might be of the superfamily Muroidea, which would explain the missing Cheddar from the White House rodent traps.

Do you think Trump ever killed or had anyone killed? Had to think about that for a second, didn’t you? I don’t know the answer. Is there anyone encased in the cement of a Trump building? It almost seems probable. We know he never killed anyone in war, though, since he avoided Vietnam like it was exercise or a blister.

“We have in the person of Donald Trump a very Lincolnesque president,” Congressman Kevin Cramer said, just Feb. 23, after a year corrupt presidential hijinks.

Hasn’t Cramer been reading the papers? Is he literate? Is he void of perception? Is he talking about Orville Lincoln from Maxbass? Or is he just a tool who votes 98.5 percent with the Trumpskunk?

Regarding the biggest of stuff, our jumbo lump of clean-coal president refuses to engage an old enemy waging a war against our country. Helloooo? Bungling Commander-in-Chief. Wake the eff up! There are foreigners messing with our stuff, and some fine brains, on both sides. High crime.

Remember Don’s pal, Vladimir Putin, who has accepted being hairless on top. Well, the Russians have been waging a cyber war against us, and Einstein didn’t want to believe it. Having a walk-in closet full of pasty-faced guys just chattering away in an Eastern Slavic tongue would make Trump look stupid(er), and he doesn’t like being teased. So, it’s Obama’s fault.

Hell, we usually blow up an extra country, just for good measure, when provoked. But Trump is more worried about covering his own prodigious ass than his country, so he tweets, as the fire rages.

Possibly, excessively painted clown face is getting shook down by Putin. Or duffle-bag-of-spuds butt could be cleaning money for some other crooks or getting money funneled to Trump University from Russia through the NRA. Or perhaps something serious.

This punchline of a president is juggling more scandals than he has hairs on his head. 45 might be looking at jail time, if Robert Mueller keeps digging and finds a few slight peculiarities in the books, like a missing skyscraper, not on the balance sheet. They don’t serve KFC and McDonald’s in the klink. It’s tough being a criminal when president. People watch, listen, film, write and tell everyone, the blabbermouths. The stable genius must not have thought of that.

Obama didn’t bug the Trump Tower, he’s not from Kenya, and there were way more people at president Obama’s Inauguration.

Donald Trump’s hijinks go back decades. Most of it was documented or recorded, since the dip couldn’t stand to stand, or sit down, without a cameraman in attendance. He has been breaking Commandments, and laws, at a clip that would make Charles Manson blush.

He’s adulted, stolen and coveted like crazy. Donnie doesn’t pay his bills, cons whoever he’s looking at and counts the alt-right as most of his base. The Tiki tykes warm one of his internal organs. Hookers, porn stars, assaultin, and looking quite oily.

Envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. Which one doesn’t fit?

Then, 17 people are executed in Florida, and he rails against his own FBI and gives the big grin and thumbs up at the hospital.

Blah, blah, blah. Everybody knows this stuff. There are documentaries about the sleazeball, for crissakes. He’s left an endless trail of disgruntled workers and violated women.

Yet, most of state and federal lawmakers from North Dakota still support this pimple, and they’re never going to admit that lancing the orange cyst would be the healthy thing to do for the lot of us.

If 3M orders a new mop handle, some legislator will attribute the transaction to the tax scam. See? See? Oh, shut up. Most of the 1.5 trillion in borrowed dollars has probably ended up in warm climate hidey holes. Trump has earmarked his winnings for slippery lawyers.

In North Dakota, legislators are most excited by Trump’s racist xenophobic efforts to stymie the inflow of refugees, Muslims and legal immigrants. They’ll deny it, but one of the representatives offered legislation to determine what he called the “absorptive capacity” of refugees coming to Fargo. Uh, huh. We’re talking hundreds trying to escape dangerous places. We can spare a potato field.

When thousands descended on the west, to poke holes in the earth so the oil could be siphoned out, nobody asked about the absorptive capacity of Williston. Nor did they fret about price gouging, real North Dakotans being priced out of their homes or homeless job seekers sleeping in their pickups in minus 20 weather.

Free market, dude. Personal responsibility. Alabamians should have put on a few pounds, and added a layer of insulating blubber, before being lured north of the Mason-Dixon line. It will take five more minutes to freeze solid, if a Southerner can get up to Trump’s fighting weight of 239.

Now, we have the alt-right Cramer stepping up because he’s a patriot, doggonit, to run against Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who did something the Cramer surrogates in the media were able to spin into maybe a high five after an anti-abortion vote. Then, she slam-dunked a basketball and made aggressive gestures towards the Republican bench. Pure evil. Rumor is, Heitkamp once knelt during the Beer Barrel Polka.

Heidi offends Cramer. Alt-right Trump doesn’t.

Everyone can see that the poor orange man cannot ride the bike. And he falls, falls and falls. And not necessarily accidentally. And lies, lies and lies. He obviously can’t help it, or doesn’t care.

Cramer claims to serve God. Donnie is the least moral man who ever bragged about assaulting women without suffering any repercussions. Kevin can’t credibly worship two Gods, when one of them would gut you like bluefin tuna for a Big Mac.

Yet, Cramer glommed onto the billionaire early in the process, when a child could plainly see that the man was crooked and shouldn’t be left alone to watch your plants or trusted with a guy’s wife. It was obvious.

“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are,” said someone. Trust me.

Kevin hangs around with a bad hombre, and another billionaire, Continental Oil CEO Harold Hamm, who volunteered to handle the finances for Cramer’s faceoff with Heidi. He’s no angel, either. Our boy will be a senator, or a board member of a huge oil company. His patriotic flip-flop is a lie. Cramer is a blatant opportunist, but Trump won’t remember his name — he may not, now — should he lose. He’ll just be another Eric.

Cramer is also a first-out-of the-gate Trump apologist and pantsuit critic. When he felt the networks were being too tough on his guy, Kevin sent questionnaires to the broadcasters, to put them on notice, I guess. Reporting accurately about old obese Don is going to be harsh because he’s incompetent — and proud of it. You just have to face it.

Cramer hoots during State of the Union speeches, tries to sanitize stupid Nazi remarks by the administration and lies about whatever is on the menu for the day. Kevin has denigrated the FBI, which has been successfully ferreting out Russians and their pawns. Why? Simply to protect the president.

National security versus Trump. Cramer chooses Trump.

A guy could go on forever about Trump, so a summary is futile. He has dug a copious number of $#itholes over the decades and sunned his belly in scores of swamps. It is all on Google. But Kevin looked down into the seven circles of greasy putrid Trumpiness and did a belly flop fully pantsuited, pulled himself onto the back of a croc and smirked. Infowars was on the big screen.

Now, I understand that some people say he is a nice person as a friend. And Cramer may do good things in the neighborhood and have a tremendous family. Someone else can write about that.

Politician Kevin can be mean, nasty and deceitful. He will lie. He has to me. Cramer has put big oil and the NRA over public safety. Everybody knows it. He isn’t as smart, or as hard working, as Heidi Heitkamp, if it mattered in this state. Our smarmy congressman does as he’s told. It’s a good pastime, if you can get it.

“In three years (maybe seven), Donald Trump will no longer be president,” Richard Brookhiser, a conservative scholar, wrote in National Review a few days before the (CPAC) conference began. “But conservatives who bent the knee will still be writing and thinking. How will it be possible to take them seriously? The short answer is, it won’t.”

And Congressman Cramer is no Trump. No one comes close. But he has his own kook going on.

“But by the way, did you notice how poorly several of them were dressed as well?” he asked. “It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird.” — Kevin Cramer (Silly and inaccurate).

“(Trump is) a president who values communicating directly with people,” Cramer continued. “It confounds many people in ‘the swamp,’ particularly the elite media, who just don’t understand why he doesn’t filter his message through them.” — Kevin Cramer (Prime $#ithole bull$#it)

President Trump, Cramer added, is a political and communications genius. (Sixty-five percent disagree.)

“Forty years ago, the United States Supreme Court sanctioned abortion on demand. And we wonder why our culture sees school shootings so often.” —Kevin Cramer (Oh, my)

“As a non-Native man, I do not feel secure stepping onto the reservation now.” — Kevin Cramer (He’s not popular with the Natives, but the statement is pure prime $#ithole bull$#it.)

Asked if he was scared by Trump’s recent comment that ozone-depleting compounds don’t hurt the environment, Cramer responded, “No, it doesn’t scare me, because frankly, it gets back to his blunt talk. He speaks so plainly, and yes, it may not seem sophisticated, it may not seem hyper-intellectual, but it’s plain enough for everybody to understand. The problem, of course, is that plain enough for everybody to understand should not be a synonym for patently false. — Kevin Cramer (Speaking plainly is not the same thing as lying.)

“These mandates and these wind farms are all based on this fraudulent science from the EPA, meaning their claim that CO2 is a pollutant and is causing global warming.” — Kevin Cramer (Big lie.)

“Yes!” the third-term lawmaker shouted from the House floor when Trump noted his administration had cleared the way for construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines. “That was me, yes it was,” Cramer, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and a backer of both pipelines that will carry oil through his state, told E&E News after the speech. He called Trump’s speech the best before Congress since President Reagan’s addresses three decades ago. (He’s stable, though. Really.)

“I Love the NRA” — Kevin Cramer

“They should be greatly relieved,” Congressman Kevin Cramer told me of Democrats reacting to his decision not to run for the U.S. Senate. (Boastful, like his bud.)

“If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” — Kevin Cramer (Empathy-free.)

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Donald Trump, Harold Hamm And Kevin Cramer

Most of my Democratic friends have a hard time understanding why I like Kevin Cramer. I think it’s because they’ve never been a part of a brotherhood. Let me explain.

I’m was thinking about this Wednesday because of Gary Emineth’s announcement Tuesday that Kevin Cramer would run for the U.S. Senate against Heidi Heitkamp. Thanks for that, Gary. I’m sure Kevin is grateful as well. Saved him a whole bunch of time and trouble putting together an announcement statement and lining up a place for a press conference and notifying the media and all the rigamarole that goes with announcing a campaign.

A couple of my Republican friends told me they are disappointed in the way things turned out. I think they wanted Emineth to run and Kevin to stay in the House. Well, me too. More about that in a minute.

I’ll give you a couple of names of people who are not disappointed.

Hey, Kevin …

Donald Trump and Harold Hamm. The two of them were the most instrumental in getting Kevin to change his mind, after he announced he would seek re-election to the House and not make the race for the Senate. Both put some persuasive pressure on Kevin to run against Heidi, but I’m told it was Hamm who closed the deal, after Trump had called Kevin and been turned down.

Harold Hamm, the deal closer.

I don’t know what Hamm promised, but it must have been significant, because Kevin was pretty sure, to the point of a public announcement, he would seek re-election to what most people consider a safe seat, and now he’s giving up a lot of security on a big gamble.

Well, of course, as of today this is all speculation, because there’s no formal announcement yet from Kevin, and likely no one except Harold and Kevin know what the deal was.

Kevin Cramer — an unlikely senator.
Kevin Cramer — an unlikely senator.

I’m disappointed because I’ve considered Kevin a friend for many years, and I don’t like it when my friends lose elections, no matter what party they belong to. And he’s pretty likely going to lose against Heidi. Which is OK, I guess. Even good, in fact, because Heidi’s been my friend longer than Kevin, and we all know the importance of seniority in politics.

I’ve known Heidi since her 1984 campaign for North Dakota State auditor. Anybody else remember that? I got to know Kevin in 1992, when he was chairman and executive director of the North Dakota Republican Party. He was a good one, unlike most of those party hacks who preceded him. But I need to back up a minute.

I had the job of executive director of the other party, the Democratic-NPL Party, in 1984, the year Bud Sinner got elected governor. I’m not boasting when I say I played a pretty significant role in his election.

After the election, as his transition team began filling available jobs in the Capitol, I got a call from Joe Lamb, who was chairing the transition team, asking me if I wanted a job in government. I said I was pretty happy with what I was doing, but if it meant a pay raise, I’d consider it.

I considered it, but I stayed on in my job with the Democratic-NPL Party until summer, meanwhile looking around at what might be the best job in state government that I dared ask for. I found one. I called Chuck Fleming, who had been Sinner’s campaign manager and then became his chief of staff in the governor’s office, and said a really cool job would be the manager of Lake Metigoshe State Park. I loved parks, and I loved camping, and I loved the Turtle Mountains, and I told Chuck that if I could manage a whole state political party, surely I could manage one square mile in the Turtle Mountains. Chuck said he would see what he could do.

A few days later he called me back and said, “Sorry, but you have to be QUALIFIED to get that job.” Turns out it is a civil service position that falls under the state’s personnel system, not subject to patronage. Dang.

But Chuck had another idea. He said I might make a pretty good State Tourism director, and that job might come available. Well, I didn’t know much about tourism, but I knew enough about marketing, which was what the job was all about, and apparently you didn’t have to be QUALIFIED to take THAT job, so I took it.

I wasn’t prepared for the phone call the next day from a reporter from The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead asking me what my qualifications were to be Tourism director. I stammered out something like “Well, I know the state pretty well, and I’ve camped in every state park in North Dakota …”

The answer looked pretty lame in the paper the next day, but somehow I got by that and had a fun seven  years in the Tourism Office.

Fast-forward to November 1992. I resigned from the Tourism Office that fall, and Ed Schafer got elected governor. Not long after the election, I ran into Kevin Cramer at lunch time at the Peacock Alley in downtown Bismarck, and I congratulated him on a great campaign and on getting Ed, who I liked immensely (and who I had voted for), elected governor.

And I said that now precedent had been set — Sinner got elected on my watch, and I became Tourism director — so now it was his turn. And I said, it is the best job in state government (way better than being a state park manager).

Well, it took Kevin a few months to warm to the idea, but eventually he did it, and held that post a few years, joining the Brotherhood of North Dakota Tourism directors. I was only the fourth person to hold that job in the state’s history, and Kevin became the sixth. Ed kept Tracy Potter, who was Deputy Tourism director when I was there, in the job on an interim basis, until Kevin was ready to leave his post with the party and go to work in government, so Tracy was fifth.

The rest is history. Kevin did a fine job, got promoted to Economic Development director, ran for Congress a couple of times and lost (if you went through his bank statements from his 1996 and 1998 campaigns, you’d find a couple of checks from me in there — sorry, Earl), and he finally did get elected to Congress a dozen or so years later.

He should stay there. He can continue to make as many BAD votes there as he wants to without really doing any harm. Although young Ben Hanson, the Democrat running for that job, would give him a pretty good run for his money. It’s going to be a darn good year for Democrats, and Ben’s a darn good candidate, and you never know …

What I do know is that Ben is the third person, behind Trump and Hamm, who’s really happy to see Kevin make the jump, if that is what happens this week. His job as a candidate just got a whole lot easier, no matter who the Republicans run for that seat.

Questions remain.

  • What of Tom Campbell, the only other serious Republican in the Senate race? He’s rich and could primary Cramer, just like Cramer primaried Brian Kalk six years ago. If not, Campbell could run for the House.
  • But who else might want that House seat? Maybe someone who had it once before, like Rick Berg? That could make for an interesting state convention, and/or primary.
  • And what of Gary Emineth? Well, he’s embarrassed the party by calling the president of the United States (not the current one, but if the shoe fits …) a Piece Of Shit in a Facebook post and might be tempted, but he’s unlikely to get a party endorsement any more. That’s why he pulled out of the Senate race and made Kevin’s announcement for him.

Could I make a prediction? Well, partly. Anticipating this possibility, young Ben Hanson got out there really early and pretty much has a lock on the Democratic-NPL slot. Smart kid. But an open seat for Congress could draw a flood of Republicans to the race. I wouldn’t be surprised to see as many as half a dozen.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves in this Senate race. Let’s wait for Kevin to come home and talk to us.

To paraphrase Priscilla Alden, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, Kevin?”

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Charlie Creek To Belfield — A History Lesson

The last major threat to the visual integrity of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, at least that I can recall — though there have been many skirmishes with the oil industry — was in 1989, when the Western Area Power Administration came really close to putting a huge transmission line along the east boundary of the South Unit of the Park.

I’m reminded of that in the context of the Meridian Energy Group’s horrible idea to put their proposed Davis Oil Refinery in about the same place, along the east edge of the park.

In the 1960s, WAPA, one of four federal power marketing administrations that serves our part of the United States, determined there was going to be a need for more electricity in part of its region in the future, and Basin Electric, headquartered in Bismarck, had surplus power to sell. All that was needed was a way for Basin to get its power into the WAPA system.

They determined that the best way was to build a transmission line — one with those big metal towers — from Basin’s Charlie Creek substation in McKenzie County, near the junction of state Highway 200 and U.S. Highway 85, to tie into an east-west WAPA power line near Belfield, N.D., about 40 miles south. WAPA commenced a federal Environmental Impact Statement process to find the best location for the line and its towers (unlike Meridian, which refuses to even submit to a state site review process) in 1969, and issued a draft EIS.

Some 20 years later, when demand reached the point that WAPA decided it needed the extra power, it commenced a review process with a public comment period and public hearings on the project. The review process focused on two identified corridors for the power line: a western line, called W1-1, which was four miles shorter and a million dollars cheaper than one farther east, called E-4-1R. WAPA recommended using the shortest, cheapest route, W-1-1.

Unfortunately, that route ran beside the eastern boundary of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and would have been visible from most high places in the park. The eastern route ran alongside Highway 85, five miles or so east of the park, and out of sight from the park.

So in the spring of 1988, WAPA published a notice of its intent to build the line next to the park and opened a public comment period. Tracy Potter and I were running the State Tourism Office at the time, and if WAPA could have picked any two people on the planet it did not want in THAT office at THAT time, it would have been the two of us. Our boss, Gov. George Sinner, turned us loose to organize against building the line next to the park.

In advance of the public hearings, which were to be held in Belfield and Grassy Butte, N.D., on July 26-27, 1988, we got on the phone and began rounding up supporters to send letters to WAPA, asking it to move the line east, to the highway, out of sight of the park. We did a pretty good job.

U.S. Sen. Quentin Burdick wrote:

“In recent days, I have received a number of letters from concerned citizens who believe that the route recommended for the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) will have long term negative effects on the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. As well, the North Dakota Tourism Office and the State Highway Department have also expressed opposition to the recommended route.

“It seems clear from the concerns raised by the opponents that WAPA should reconsider the options and seek a more acceptable routing for the line. Granted, the additional $1 million in construction costs must be an item of consideration. However, when viewed in the context, it seems the additional $1 million is not too large a price to pay to protect such a national treasure as Theodore Roosevelt Park.”

How about that! Why don’t we have U. S. senators like that anymore?

And Congressman Byron Dorgan wrote:

“The visual impact (on Theodore Roosevelt National Park) is unacceptable. I hope you will hear the concerns of myself and of many others who are committed to protecting the natural, scenic beauty of the Badlands.”

I know that our newest senator at the time, Kent Conrad, weighed in on this as well, but I can’t find his letter.

Even our boss, Gov. Sinner, and his lieutenant governor, Lloyd Omdahl, sent a jointly signed letter (although I think Tracy probably wrote it for them):

“North Dakotans have jealously guarded the Badlands scenic areas from avoidable intrusions. Consequently the Park today still provides awesome views of natural beauty unmarred by artificial structures. Whether or not future generations will be able to share this beauty will be determined by this generation and the decisions it makes about development in the area. We must proceed cautiously in the consideration of proposals to change the landscape.”

Other letters came from concerned citizens, and the usual suspects — the National Parks Conservation Association, the Sierra Club, the Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association and others, many of whom are now involved, 30 years later, in the current fight to move the Davis refinery away from the park.

Tracy led the testimony at the public hearing in Belfield, followed by TRNP’s Chief Ranger Bob Powell, Gary Redmann from the State Highway Department representing then-Commissioner Walt Hjelle, Wally Owen from Medora, who ran the horse concession in the park, and finally, batting cleanup, Medora Mayor and President of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Rod Tjaden, who I think was also state chairman of the Greater North Dakota Association, the state’s chamber of commerce, at the time. (Humorous aside: Tjaden, not known for hanging out with the environmental crowd, sent me a note a few months later that said “Dammit, Fuglie, I’m getting mail from the Sierra Club, and it’s YOUR FAULT!”)

After the public hearings, WAPA went into hibernation for about six months, and in early 1989 released its final EIS, with its final recommendation on a route for their transmission line, which concluded with this statement:

“Through public comment, it was determined that visibility of the line from residences, local urban areas and TRNP was of significant importance. In particular, a large number of comments expressed concern for the visibility of the proposed line from TRNP. It was determined that the agency-preferred route would be changed from W1-1, as specified in the DEIS, to E4-1R (the environmentally preferred route).”

A loud cheer could be heard throughout western North Dakota. The system worked. The park was protected.

Well, that’s our history lesson for today. Sadly, history doesn’t often repeat itself. A month or so ago, I sent letters to our current governor, Doug Burgum, and to our congressional delegation, asking them to meet with the Meridian people and ask them to move the proposed refinery away from the park. I got a couple of responses.

This in an e-mail from Jodee Hanson in the governor/s office:

“The Governor respects the public comment period, which is still ongoing, and is staying apprised of the Department of Health’s permitting process being conducted within the boundaries of the law.”

To which I responded:

“Thanks for the note Jodee. Relay to everyone there that the ‘boundaries of the law’ are the minimum standard for action by public officials. There is much more that can, and should, be done. Like a one-on-one between Burgum and Prentice, heart to heart, CEO to CEO. I am inspired by Julie Fedorchak and Connie Triplett seeking a PSC review. The governor could make that happen by putting the hammer down on Prentice: “Y’know, Bill, we’re in this together for the long haul. We’re going to be looking at each other and talking to each other for a long time. Let’s be responsible and see what a PSC site review tells us.”

I also got an e-mail from a staffer for Congressman Kevn Cramer:

“Congressman Cramer has been in contact with both the N.D. Department of Health and EPA ensuring the project meets human health and environmental requirements.”

To which I responded:

“Relay to everyone there that meeting the “human health and environmental requirements” is not enough in this case. There is much more that can, and should, be done. As a former State Tourism director, Kevin understands the impact on our National Park. I’d suggest a one-on-one between the congressman and Meridian CEO Bill Prentice, heart to heart. I am inspired by Julie Fedorchak and Connie Triplett seeking a PSC review. The Congressman could help make that happen by meeting with Prentice:”

I’ve not heard anything from our two senators. I’m going to send them, along with Cramer and Burgum, a copy of this blog post to remind them of what can be done if everyone pulls their own weight.

Maybe. Just maybe …

RON SCHALOW: Partners in Slime

I’m all a flutter waiting on Kevin Cramer’s big decision. Actually, my heart does have a slight flutter. I should have that looked at. Anyway, our lone congressman needs to decide whether to run against Heidi Heitkamp for her Senate seat, or shoot for another two years in Congress. Anyway, the Cong …

Whoa. Wait. Cramer just decided he wants to have a job in 2019. He likes the income — and the benefits — no matter how much he pleads poverty on $175,000. And the work is easy. He just votes as he’s told, which a relatively intelligent parrot, a cockatoo perhaps, could probably handle. But the Constitution insists on human representation. Plus, the birds will fly off in a blur of colorful feathers, given a crack of daylight, and drown themselves in the Potomac. Parrots have shame.

President Trump invited Cramer and his wife to the White House to sell Kevin on running against Heidi. As far as we know anyway. Our congressman has only mentioned it 412 times.

Evidently, the stable genius wasn’t his coherent fourth-grade best, and it was hard to tell exactly what the fat old man really wanted, through the vulgar cursing, and repetition of the story, the one when he invented chunky soup with Millard Fillmore and that one porn star. The best soup ever. Trust him. No $#!**& beet or lima bean soup. That’s what I heard from some guy yelling at a fire plug.

Let this be a lesson to all of the kids out there. The dishwasher gel packs aren’t edible, and don’t inhale the hairspray. Thankfully, 45 kept the grabbing to a minimum during the visit. His digits were cramping up from his most recent Tweet bomb cyclone.

Evidently, the world’s best salesman couldn’t make the sale, even to his most ardent apologist. And Sammy, that’s what Trump calls everyone he can’t remember, decided to play it safe. Or so Kev thinks. I predict that North Dakota state Rep. Rick Becker will change his mind about not running for statewide office, and primary the smirker, and win the Republican nomination. Or Becker will make a run for the Senate. He’s for freedom, you know. It’s a popular stance.

Cramer will find a job quickly. The country has a severe shortage of pantsuit critics.

You have to hand it to the congressman. He glommed onto Trump prodigious bum early and excused everything the crude, incompetent. immoral, racist, sexist, lying, egomaniac, narcissist, tax-evading, xenophobe, draft dodger, mentally challenged, Russian tool and lunatic, with an unseemly large supply of Tiki torches in the oval office, did or said.

The list is much longer, but what’s the point? Seventy percent of Americans already know what a sleazy creep this president has been for many decades. Cramer never even bit his lip. He wanted a Cabinet position. Screw the country.

And the book. Every time I read one of the damning passages, I thought, yeah, I can see that happening. Not too shocking. Few people think he is qualified for the job. He’s a just huckster. OMG, the president is bald! Who would have thought it? Ike was pretty much hairless, but you didn’t see him strutting around with a Pomeranian on his dome.

Trump’s shameful behavior never bothered the holy extra pious Cramer, though. Even the ****hole ooze pile of horse$#!*. The detestable Trump is the opposite of godly. Cramer chose Trump over Christian behavior. Kev’s two-faced. The worst kind of face. Cramer equals Trump now. One in the same.

But God told Kevin to run for Congress. Uh huh. I don’t think he’s allowed to worship Trump, too. I’m positive on that one. I know the pope frowns on it.

Of course, every member of the North Dakota GOP, including the governor, remains silent, which makes them all as complicit in this grease fire as Cramer, and the nativist rhetoric and policies of the fat @$$. Good humans don’t support repugnant con artists.

Trump is an adherent of the alt-right. He’s proven it, over and over. You may have noticed Steve Bannon lurking in the Oval Office looking offensive. The alt-right is made up of white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, neo-fascists and others. They like fire on flimsy sticks, don’t care for uppity women and think that white men are under some sort of siege.

North Dakota has a good share of these “fine people” in the Legislature. How many? I don’t know. Too many. Who are they? I could make some good guesses, but voters should just ask — or figure it out — by what type of clever-coded jargon the politicians use on their Facebook pages, and websites.

Many people in North Dakota agree with these views. They believe a wall isn’t stupid and that Trump is looking out for them, “the forgotten people.” Donnie couldn’t pick out North Dakota on a map, and Mr. Gold Toilet would think every town in the state is a $#!*hole. Luckily, we’re already stocked up on Norwegians.

This old yarn was recently posted by two legislators on their Facebook pages, It may go back as far as Reagan’s fictional black welfare queen.

“Went to Yellowstone with my family, signs everywhere saying not to feed wild life. The reason for this is that the wildlife become dependent on handouts and forget how to live in the natural environment.They become lazy, and violent and the family structure is ruined. If it’s true for nature it’s true for humans Of all NATIONALITIES.”

Dog whistle alert at the end. It’s a don’t-call-me-a-racist warning. If you have to deny it, you probably have some extreme ideas about race. “They become lazy and violent, and the family structure is ruined.” Ever heard that line applied to anyone living in Belfield, N.D.?

Are people animals? Yes, but none of them live in Yellowstone, and few people have mounted a human head on the rec room wall. The poster of this simplistic offensive paragraph has cattle. Are they dependent on him, or do they all have jobs in town, at Dairy Queen? Are cows more important than people? To some folks, I guess.

And this next genius lawmaker follows Trump’s lead because like 45, he doesn’t understand the issue or is in denial that an issue even exists, as if living in North Dakota — or a penthouse — makes one an expert on race.

“Thank you, Alejandro Villanueva for doing the right thing and making your fellow veterans proud. To Coach Tomlin and the rest of the feckless Steelers, you’re ungrateful wimps that should be fired.”

This sycophant doesn’t know much about football, but he and his funky haired buddy, know that the NFL is made up of mostly of large black men. Bull$#!* like this plays well with their intellectual base. Quit kneeling, dammit!

As the classy stooge, Rep. Roscoe Streyle would say to these two gentlemen, Trump, and Cramer, if there were any chance he didn’t agree with them; go pound sand, you stupid %@&*$!’s.

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Musical Chairs Leaves Land Commissioner Without A Job

I really thought (and kind of hoped) when I read in the paper Friday morning that the State Land Board had said good-bye to its longtime North Dakota State Land Commissioner, Lance Gaebe, that the next story I would read about him would be his appointment as director of the USDA Rural Development office in North Dakota.

But Donald Trump, John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer slipped one by me. That job, one of the plum federal appointments up for grabs in each state when the presidency changes parties, vacated by Democrat Ryan Taylor last January when Trump took office, is already taken. It became official this week.

Clare Carlson, who held the position for eight years under George W. Bush, is back in his old office.

I expect Carlson’s qualified — he did it before. But I thought Gaebe was probably the “most” qualified person in the state. He served as State Land commissioner for more than seven years, and that job gave him one of the largest — if not THE largest — pool of money to be given away in all of state government. Before that he gave away money as director of the state’s Ag Products Utilization Commission. And that’s pretty much what the State Rural Development director does — gives away money.

Although Carlson’s appointment wasn’t officially announced by USDA until Thursday, the same day Gaebe walked out of the State Land Department office for the last time, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven actually slipped it out in a news release Nov. 6 — the day before this year’s election.

Unfortunately, there was a bit of other news happening that week, and somehow the North Dakota media didn’t pick it up (it still hasn’t). There was one piece of North Dakota news that did make the papers the next day though — that was the day Lance Gaebe lost his job — the day the State Land Board fired him and hired his replacement, Jodi Smith, on a 3-2 vote.

Bad timing. I might’ve thought Hoeven, who along with the rest of the Land Board hired Gaebe back in 2010, would have some loyalty to him and favored him for the Rural Development  job, but I guess he, along with most of the rest of us, never guessed that new Gov. Doug Burgum would side with State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler in voting to let Gaebe go from his Land Department job.

If the timing had been different, maybe Gaebe would be headed to a new job in the federal building. And Carlson would still be the No. 2 guy at North Dakota’s Workforce Safety and Insurance.

I guess it shouldn’t have been that great of a surprise. Burgum started replacing old Jack Dalrymple appointees slowly, but he’s been picking them off one at a time as he nears his one-year anniversary of taking office next week. So far, of the 17 appointed officials he lists as members of his “cabinet,” there are only five holdovers remaining from Dalrymple’s administration.

Gone are department heads at Commerce, Financial Institutions, Parks and Recreation, Health, OMB, Human Services, Information Technology, Job Service, Highway Patrol, Transportation, Labor and Securities. Not bad.

Hanging on are the Adjutant General and the directors of the Game and Fish, Workforce Safety and Insurance, Indian Affairs, and Corrections and Rehabilitation Departments.

There are a few important jobs hired by boards on which the governor serves, like the Land Board, from which Gaebe is departing, the Water Commission and the Industrial Commission. Gaebe’s the first to go. Nobody’s holding their breath waiting for State Engineer Garland Erbele or Oil and Gas Division Director Lynn Helms to depart, although there’d probably be a big party if Helms was dismissed. Erbele probably should have been fired for letting his engineers issue 600 illegal Little Missouri River water permits, though.

But back to matters at hand. Carlson and Gaebe have kind of parallel career paths, changing jobs as administrations change, always dependent on political connections. Both were mentioned on a short list to succeed Roger Johnson as State Agriculture commissioner when Johnson left for Washington, D.C., eight years ago, a job that went to Doug Goehring. Both Goehring and Carlson had run against and lost to Johnson, but Goehring had run twice and Carlson only once, so I guess that counts for something. Gov. Hoeven appointed Goehring.

Carlson gets the last financial laugh though. In his new job, he’ll probably be making about $135,000 a year, about $30,000 more a year than Goehring, whose salary is set by law at $105,000.

Goehring’s been agriculture commissioner a little more than eight years now. Maybe he can find a place for Gaebe. But probably not at the $120,000-plus salary he was making at the Land Department. For now, Gaebe’s out of work. But I bet — and hope — he lands somewhere pretty soon.

Carlson is in, continuing a career of more than 35 years in government, including service to Former Govs. Hoeven, Dalrymple and Ed Schafer and former U. S. Sen. Mark Andrews. He’s been a good Republican foot soldier, serving a couple of years in the North Dakota Legislature and running for North Dakota agriculture commissioner. His most recent job was deputy director of Workforce Safety and Insurance (he tried really hard to get the head job at WSI, which was open at the same time as Johnson’s job in 2009, but Hoeven hired former Highway Patrol Commander Bryan Klipfel, I’m guessing with instructions to make Carlson his deputy — Carlson was out of work after losing his Rural Development job when President Obama took office). Carlson’s job at WSI actually paid around $125,000 a year, also more than the Ag Commissioners job.

Carlson’s paid his dues (he contributed more than $3,500 to North Dakota Republican candidates in the last election cycle), but at the same time, every job he’s held since about 1985 has been a Republican patronage job. And I’m sure he’ll do fine in this one. It’s not too hard to give away money, and his predecessors, Jasper Schneider and Ryan Taylor, built a good professional staff to carry out the real work of the office.

I feel bad for Gaebe, though. He’s also been a good soldier for the Republicans. And as a friend of mine who knows him well said, “He didn’t f**k up that bad” as land commissioner. I’m a little more charitable — I thought he actually grew in the job and became a pretty good protector of the public’s interest in all the land the state owns. We have a lot of land and minerals in the Bakken, in environmentally fragile Bad Lands areas, and he’s become more sensitive to looking out for that land. I hope Jodi Smith continues that path.

Footnote: Carlson likely needed a lot of help from Hoeven and Cramer to convince the Trump administration to give him the job. At last year’s Republican state convention, Carlson’s name was on the Republican National Convention delegate slate for Ted Cruz for President (although he later denied he ever supported Cruz, after the state convention, just before the cock crowed). You’d think someone in the Trump circle kept those kinds of lists for referring to later. But Hoeven and Cramer have curried favor with Trump with their votes on health care and tax reform and can generally get what they want from him.

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Can’t Touch This

A legislative committee will examine North Dakota’s sexual harassment policy “to make sure it’s up to date,” said Rep. Al Carlson.

“I’m hoping for visual aids,” added a committeeman, panting slightly.

Existing codes are located between weights and measures, buggy whips and the zoning of sod houses.

Current statutes read:

  • A chaste woman shan’t ride alone in a closed carriage with a man who is not a relative.
  • She may, however, signal her status with a fan. Fanning slowly means, “I am engaged.” Fanning whilst disrobed suggests, “I am hotith to trotith.”
  • Gentlemen must remove spurs at the parlor door whilst courting.
  • And something about transgender outhouses.

The committee will watch a video, “U Can’t Touch This,” from noted ethicist M.C. Hammer. Later, there’ll be a debate — “Do’s and Don’ts” — between Roy Moore and R. Kelly. Mostly they’ll be discussing the do’s. Kelly got invited because there’s an R in his name. And finally, a slide show on Gadsden Mall hot spots and Moore’s plan to bring integrity back to the U.S. Senate.

Rules to be considered:

  • Don’t handle the hooters.
  • Don’t goose the caboose.
  • Don’t make a colleague walk on your back. Even if she’s a babe from your harem.
  • Don’t involve a houseplant in any of this.

Automatic door locks are verboten. Matt Lauer once trapped Willard Scott in his office and subjected him to hours of double-entendres about Smucker’s. If Lauer and Charlie Rose ever get together, some crap’s gonna go down.

Add Bill O’ Reilly, and, oh my … Seriously, what do you have to do that ends in a $32 million settlement? Does it even involve the same species?

North Dakota Republicans have so far resisted the formation of an ethics commission. First, they have to check with Petroleum Council President Ron Ness to see if it’s OK.

A puzzling Catch-22. If you have the ethics to form an ethics commission, you probably don’t need it. A chicken-and-egg thing. What comes first, the ethics or the commission? It’s right up there with quandaries like how in quantum mechanics, electrons can be in two places at the same time, and how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. The world may never know.

The Capitol is eagerly awaiting sexual harassment training. Some will be disappointed to learn it doesn’t involve an instruction manual.

Pop quiz questions:

  • Is she winking, or does she have something in her eye?
  • What was she wearing?

The state’s already facing a gender discrimination case against Higher Ed Chancellor Mark Hagerott, who is accused by fired vice chancellor Lisa Feldner of treating women like pets.

Hagerott is not accused of making any booty calls, though. Quite the contrary. He’s from the Mike Pence puritanical wing of politics. In these times, Pence may be on to something.

According to Feldner, Hagerott wouldn’t ride alone with single moms on his staff. She also claims Hagerott thought a drone flying outside the Capitol was operated by Russians and that the Chinese were hacking his emails. (Did recreational marijuana get approved in Bismarck while I wasn’t looking?)

Ed Schafer, who was interim president at the University of North Dakota, did try to influence the 2016 gubernatorial election. But, so far, no connections to Moscow. Fortunately, if Hagerott gets canned, Alex Jones is available and would be a welcome voice of reason. In Bismarck, he’ll be branded as a moderate.

Meanwhile, with Russiagate, we could see a Mike Pence presidency. He’d be the anti-Justin Timberlake. He’d bring chastity back. No skirts above the ankles.

Pence wouldn’t meet alone with Angela Merkel, or Theresa May, but a meeting with Kim Jong Un isn’t out of the question.

I’m glad tax “reform” passed before Russiagate explodes. Even if they had to pass it to see what’s in it. Which is how one might approach a bowel movement.

Call me when the swamp is drained.

© Tony Bender, 2017